Shari Wilkins' Found Photography Examines Impermanence at Canopy Collective

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click to enlarge Triptych: Cells, Warrior, Interior - Wilkins
Triptych: Cells, Warrior, Interior
In her first solo exhibition, Shari Wilkins steps out of her role as founder and director of the Cleveland Print Room to showcase a new exhibition of works created and objects collected during the early months of 2016. BODY PLASTISCH opens with a reception at Canopy Collective from 6 to 10 p.m. this Friday, May 13.

"Shari Wilkins has a unique eye for found photography,” says Canopy owner Erika Durham. “Not only does she manage to curate some of the most interesting and complex photographs, she manipulates them in a way that gives them a whole new life. I find her work to be hauntingly beautiful, filled with images of humans who have left this earth, along with some who still exist here somewhere."

Wilkins specializes in vernacular photography, collecting everyday photos from the late 19th and early 20th century. Wilkins often alters the surfaces of these photos and curates them together to create thought provoking juxtapositions.

“My work focuses on our temporary existence by examining the body, interior and exterior, through the usage of antiquated photographic processes,” explains Wilkins. “I use my artwork to visually explore the balance of opposites: form and power, variety and identity, reason and fate, life and death in an attempt to capture the tension of a world riddled with paradox. Incorporating my fascination with vernacular photography, the photo booth, and scale along with family documents, x-rays and ephemera, this body of work conveys a narrative about the impermanence of life.”

Shari Wilkins earned a BA in Social Work from Cleveland State University, a BA in Radio and Television at Kent State University, as well as her MA in Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies with a concentration in American Studies/American Renaissance at Ursuline College.

Shari Wilkins founded the Cleveland Print Room in early 2013. The organization celebrates traditional photography and preserves the equipment and processes necessary to produce it. The Cleveland Print Room’s 3,000 sq. ft. space includes an exhibition space, communal workspace and a large community darkroom.

In 2005, Wilkins became concerned about the trend in many high schools, arts centers and colleges and universities of downsizing and decommissioning their photography programs and darkroom facilities. During a conversation with Zygote Press co-founder Liz Maugans in 2012, Maugans mentioned that Zygote Press was looking to give away their darkroom. This fateful conversation would eventually lead Wilkins to establish the Cleveland Print Room in the ArtCraft Building (2550 Superior Ave.)

(Canopy Collective) 3910 Lorain Ave., 216-309-1090,

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